Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 5°C

min temp: -4°C

Search

Kids beware danger on beach

PUBLISHED: 13:23 14 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

RESIDENTS have branded a dangerous stretch of seafront as a "commando course for kids" and are furious at new warning signs in front of their homes.

Today they demanded immediate action to remove the hazards and make Felixstowe's East Beach safer – and warned that the resort could lose visitors unless work was done.

RESIDENTS have branded a dangerous stretch of seafront as a "commando course for kids" and are furious at new warning signs in front of their homes.

Today they demanded immediate action to remove the hazards and make Felixstowe's East Beach safer – and warned that the resort could lose visitors unless work was done.

Suffolk Coastal council has taken action to warn people of the perils of playing on the shore, after growing concern about safety on the seafront.

It has put in place orange mesh fencing to deter people from going near the edge of the prom in Undercliff Road East, where there is a six feet drop to the beach.

In addition, it has now had painted in two feet high white letters on the prom "Beware Drop" in a grid to enforce the warning, and placed on breakwaters new metal signs saying "For your own safety, please keep off the groynes".

One of the new information boards, giving details of additional hazards, has also been placed at the bottom of Maybush Lane.

But residents say the council should not just be warning about the danger but taking measures to make the beach safer.

"How can we expect families to come and enjoy the beach in this part of Felixstowe with all these signs and warnings," fumed Duncan Wells, whose home Ridley House overlooks the East Beach.

"We have warnings about the drop to the beach, warnings about groynes, the tide, powercraft, waves – how many more signs do we need? It's crazy, and a lot of the information is irrelevant to this beach anyway.

"It is not a family beach any more because people will not come if they think it is that dangerous, unless they are interested in some kind of adventure holiday. It has become a commando assault course for kids.

"The council really should be taking some kind of action. What is their long-term plan? What are they doing?"

Another resident said: "I think it's very over the top. I don't believe the beach can be that dangerous – the drop from the prom isn't even as big as it has been.

"But if these new sea defences are not working – and the thousands of tonnes of shingle pumped ashore last summer vanished within a couple of months – then the authorities need to do something more and quick. Sea water already appears to be getting under the foundation of the prom in one place."

There has been growing fears over the drop to the beach and that an unsuspecting visitor could plunge onto the shingle.

Sea defence engineers though are confident the beach will rise to former levels in time and say shore levels do tend to fluctuate in this area.

Erosion next to Cobbold's Point has proved cyclical in the past with at times a big drop from the prom and other times just a few inches from prom to shingle.

A number of dangers have been highlighted on the shore this summer, including huge lumps of concrete which are hidden by tides but sit close to the shore and could be a hazard for swimmers. The boulders are believed to be part of groynes which are rapidly deteriorating and breaking up.

Erosion has left some groynes as potentially lethal climbing obstacles for children; some have gaps large enough beneath for a child to crawl through or get trapped.

Suffolk Coastal has neither the budget or the intention to remove obstacles at the moment and says shore levels fluctuate. It council has employed consultants Halcrow to investigate the problems and see what solutions might be possible.

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists